LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When the temperatures drop and plants and trees aren’t blooming, the last thing we think about are allergies.
But there are a number of allergens that can cause problems during the winter months.
These generally don't exist outside, but rather inside your home.
Here's a top cause - warming up your home with a fireplace. The smoke can cause allergy flare ups often leading to congestion, itchy eyes and a sore throat. If you suffer from these symptoms, make sure your fireplace and the room are well ventilated.
Another cause of winter allergies is pet dander. During the winter, not only do we spend more time inside, but so do our pets. It's not the pets hair, but the dead skin that can cause allergic reactions.
If you have pets, vacuum your home and groom your pets regularly to prevent extra shedding.
Dust mites are another common cause of winter allergies. These microscopic bugs are found in bedding, carpeting and upholstery. Dust and vacuum often and frequently wash your bedding and blankets in hot water to cut back on allergy flare ups.
Mold can be another issue. It releases spores into the air which we can breathe or it can come into contact with our skin. You might find it in damp areas, like basements or bathrooms. It can trigger sneezing, congestion and itchiness. Experts recommend keeping your home well-ventilated.
If you find yourself suffering from winter allergies, nasal sprays and decongestants such as Claritin or Zyrtec can help alleviate the symptoms. They’re not cheap but give them a couple weeks to make sure they’re helping you.